Back in 2004, I spent six months living in Brooklyn while working as a graphic design intern for an apparel company in New York City. Our apartment was tiny, and four of us shared a one-bedroom by setting one bed up in the closet, while the other three of us crammed air mattresses into the single bedroom. There was nowhere to walk around the mattresses, as we filled the remaining bedroom space with rolling racks that served as both dressers and closets. My roommates were all older than me, and I ended up spending a lot of time on my own, with just the city noise around me for company. I learned so much about myself while living there, especially how to be comfortable with a bit of loneliness, while being surrounded by thousands of people. The ways that I learned to be independent and courageous during my time there are still a huge part of my life today. Because of this, New York will always feel like home in so many ways.
As my internship came to an end in December of 2004, it was the first time I saw the city bring its Christmas spirit to life. I worked close to the Macy’s building on 34th Street, so it became a daily lunchtime tradition to explore the window decorations and shop for Christmas gifts to take home to my family. It’s so cliché to say, but New York at Christmas-time truly is magical. The decorations and twinkling lights all over the city fill you with true happiness. It was a time of year that filled my heart with joy and hope, and it made me want to bring everyone I love to see it in person.
I took my husband to see all the magic of New York at Christmas the first weekend in December, 2015, and it was everything I remembered it to be. We stayed at the Cassa Times Square boutique hotel, which was a short walk away from Broadway and so many great tourist attractions. Drinks and dinner at The Monkey Bar one night, followed by an outstanding meal at Beauty & Essex the next evening were genuine highlights. After our short visit to the city together, we were heading up to the West Point Academy, where our very good friends lived at the time. With their two young boys looking forward to seeing us for the holidays, we of course had to make sure we picked up gifts for them! We spent hours at the Lego Store at Rockefeller Center choosing just the right kits for them. And a short walk to the Magnolia Bakery after that adventure was the highlight of my day. Definitely a throw-back memory to my days living there in school.